Dave Erlandson is General Manager of Caslon & Co. (www.caslon.net ) a firm that specializes in helping companies take advantage of the new business opportunities enabled by digital printing. One of Caslon's primary activities is to serve as the North American Affiliate for PODi, the Digital Print Initiative (www.podi.org ). PODi is a leading industry association focused on developing the market for digital printing through market education and standards activities.
Within the last few years we have seen the introduction of two high-speed inkjet technologies aimed at the direct mail space. One is the new high-speed color inkjet presses and the other is high-speed color inkjet heads that can be mounted on existing offset presses.
Recently I had the chance to attend HP’s Print Your Future event, held near the HP inkjet labs in San Diego. The event was hosted by HP’s IHPS division which makes the high speed continuous feed inkjet presses (T2xx, T3xx, T4xx series). I was able to tour the labs and see each of the three press models in operation.
On March 19th Océ (part of the Canon Group) hosted an International Inkjet Days event at its site in Poing Germany (just east of Munich). Océ invited a group of industry analysts to see the latest enhancements to its impressive inkjet product portfolio and it offered educational sessions on inkjet technology, document security and color perception.
Recently I was in Las Vegas for PODi’s AppForum. Our team arrived on the weekend prior to the conference, which was at the Planet Hollywood. It was Sunday and time for lunch so five of us headed down to casino area where the restaurants are scattered about. Looking for a casual, inexpensive and quick lunch we settled on Burgr, a new restaurant owned by Gordon Ramsay, the chef from the TV show Hell’s Kitchen.
As companies look for ways to grow the digital printing portion of their business, they're finding multiple options. And this is great news. Every company is different. Not every company that adopts digital printing needs to become a marketing solutions provider.
There are over 1.8 million non-profit organizations in the U.S. And direct mail is still the favored medium for non-profits. In 2010 approximately 17% of the US bulk mail sent, roughly 11 billion pieces, was related to the non-profit sector.
Caslon, the management company of PODi, the digital printing initiative, recently analyzed PODi case studies in the financial services industry to determine if there are common challenges and interesting solutions for those challenges.
Selling print is a commodity business. In search of higher margins, the mantra is to become a Solutions Provider, aka Marketing Services Provider. Unfortunately the terminology seems to take on many meanings and the message gets diluted.
Pricing for standard printing jobs is typically a cost plus scenario, however when you are selling solutions you have the option to price based on value and then get your fair share of the value you create. You just need a way to figure out what the value is to your client we'll show you a simple tool for making that calculation.
We are coping with unprecedented industry consolidation and declining print volumes. As the overall volume of print declines, printing companies are scrambling to find strategies to not only survive, but to grow revenue and margins.
At the recent PODi AppForum conference, keynote speaker Ken Schmidt spoke passionately about the need to create a compelling message for your business – a message that connects emotionally with prospects and stands out from the crowd. Too often, Ken says that companies say what makes them great is quality, service and reliability when these items are merely givens - table stakes. And what’s worse, it’s a boring message that causes prospect’s eyes to glaze over. It eventually leads to competition based solely on price – and there go your profit margins.
The digital printing industry looks to Caslon and PODi for insights into what’s next and what will be profitable in the future. Here are a few of the exciting opportunities we see emerging plus some red flags to watch out for.
To promote sales of their products, manufacturers need to effectively provide their network of dealers with marketing materials that support the purchase process, and continue the post-purchase conversation.
Is the Education Market one of your target markets? If you are planning on selling marketing solutions to the Education Market then you need to have a good understanding of the key challenges for this market.
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